• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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    Several trails in the park are temporarily closed. Please check the "Backcountry Facilities" section of the Temporary Road and Facilities Closures page for further details. More »

Visitor Centers

Sugarlands Visitor Center

Stop at Sugarlands Visitor Center to view a free 20-minute film about the park.

Begin your exploration of the park at a visitor center. Here you can pick up a park map or newspaper, have your questions answered by a ranger, and purchase books and guides to the park.

Four visitor centers are located within the national park at Cades Cove, Oconaluftee, Sugarlands and Clingmans Dome. In addition, four information centers are located outside the park in the communities of Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and Townsend.

Two historic grist mills are open seasonally in the park. Both provide demonstrations of corn meal milling.

 

Cades Cove Visitor Center
Open every day except Christmas Day.
January 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
February 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
March 9:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
April 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
May - July 9:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
August 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
September - October 9:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
November 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
December 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Location
Inside the park near the mid-point of the 11-mile, one-way Cades Cove Loop Road.

Special Programs
Ranger-led programs are conducted seasonally. Check at the visitor center for times.

Exhibits
Indoor and outdoor exhibits of Southern Mountain life and culture. Includes Cable Mill, a grist mill which operates spring through fall, the Becky Cable house, and other historic structures.

Available Facilities
Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Public restrooms.
 

Oconaluftee Visitor Center
Open every day except Christmas Day
January - February 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
March 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
April - May 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
June - August 8:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
September - October 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
November 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
December 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Location
Inside the park, 2 miles north of Cherokee, NC, on US-441.

Special Programs
Ranger-led programs conducted seasonally. Check at the visitor center for location and times.

Exhibits
Visitor center museum exhibits tell the story of life in these mountains from native Americans and early European settlement time periods through the Civilian Conservation Corp and the development of the national park. The adjacent Mountain Farm Museum contains a fascinating collection of log structures including a farmhouse, barn, smokehouse, applehouse, corn cribs and others. Demonstrations of farm life are conducted seasonally.

Available Facilities
Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Public restrooms and telephones. Soda and water machines. Backcountry permit station.


Learn about the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center's green design!

 

Sugarlands Visitor Center
Open every day except Christmas Day.
January - February 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
March 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
April - May 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
June - August 8:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
September - October 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
November 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
December 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

From January 7 to mid-March 2013, the lobby at Sugarlands Visitor Center will be undergoing renovations to improve visitor services. During this time, the natural history museum portion of the visitor center will be closed to the public. All other services including general information, the park film, and the bookstore will remain available.

Location
Inside the park, 2 miles south of Gatlinburg on US-441.

Special Programs
Ranger-led programs conducted seasonally. Check at the visitor center for locations and times.

Exhibits
Free admission to 20-minute film about the park. Extensive natural history exhibits.

Available Facilities
Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Public restrooms and telephones. Soda and water machines. Backcountry permit station.
 



Clingmans Dome Visitor Contact Station
April - October 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
November 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Location
At the Clingmans Dome trailhead, 7 miles off US-441 on the Clingmans Dome Road.

Available Facilities
Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Park information. Public restrooms in parking area.

 

Historic Grist Mills

Cable Mill in Cades Cove
Open March 14 through mid-November
Hours: 9:00-5:00

Location
Inside the park near the mid-point of the 11-mile, one-way Cades Cove Loop Road.

Exhibits
Water-powered grist mill.


Mingus Mill near Oconaluftee

Open Friday- Sunday on March 21-23, March 28-30, and April 4-6. Open daily beginning April 11 through mid-November.
Hours: 9:00-5:00

Location
Inside the park, 2 miles north of Cherokee, NC, on US 441.

Exhibits
Turbine-powered grist mill.



 
Visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park's official online store for books, maps, and guides to the park. Operated by the nonprofit Great Smoky Mountains Association, proceeds generated by purchases at the store are donated to educational, scientific, and historical projects in the park.

Did You Know?

Flame azalea can be found growing on heath balds in the park.

The park’s high elevation heath balds are treeless expanses where dense thickets of shrubs such as mountain laurel, rhododendron, and sand myrtle grow. Known as “laurel slicks” and “hells” by early settlers, heath balds were most likely created by forest fires long ago. More...